Do what you love, follow your passions, make your heart sing. Whatever you call it, it basically comes down to self love, and what do they say makes the world go around? LOVE.
When I follow my passions I am excited to start each day and looking forward to my future. The positive effect is enormous on both my mental and physical state. It is part of HEALTHY LIVING.
Last weekend I indulged in a writing course through the Australian Writers Centre on Creative Writing. Courses are often expensive, but this one was worth every dollar.
I spent 2 days in their Milson’s Point classroom with a group of ten other aspiring writers and Pamela Hart as our teacher. Inspirational, intimate, professional, fun, encouraging are just a few adjectives to describe the weekend.
So what made this weekend so worthwhile, and what did I take away from the teachings:
1. To follow my gut in my writing
⁃ The teacher reassured me to go back to my original novel start.
2. Know your characters = plot
⁃ Work out your characters. This will bring out stories and plots
3. The more complex you make your antagonist the more believable they will be
⁃ Life and people are complex and cardboard characters makes for dull reading
4. Come into scene late , exit scene early
⁃ No need for too much ‘setting the scene’. Often you can cut out bits and go straight to the important part of scene. Same applies to the end. Finish on a high point.
5. Change pace
⁃ Keep pace interesting to continue to captivate the reader. Slow down after fast pace action scenes to provide a breather. Pick up pace after slower descriptive scenes. Escalate pace towards the end.
6. Never summaries an emotional high-point.
⁃ A high-point should end the chapter not drag it out.
7. Main characters journey
⁃ The main character has the biggest internal journey
8. 1st draft – telling story to yourself
⁃ Just write your story without worrying about being perfect enough to show to anyone else. Write to get the story down.
9. Opening of novel/cover/blurb must
⁃ Grab the reader enough to want to keep reading
⁃ A promise to the kind of book it will be
⁃ Provide orientation
10. Structure of novel
⁃ Orientation; set the scene
⁃ 1st turning point; major event in 1st or 2nd chapter
⁃ Complications; events moving the plot along, relative to story
⁃ 2nd turning point; 2/3 into story
⁃ Climax; pace quickens, protagonist must actively be involved.
⁃ Resolution; answers questions from 1st turning point.
11. Write even when inspiration is lacking
⁃ So true, the muse will arrive when we sit down to write
12. Connect with other writers and beta readers a must.
⁃ Have experienced this myself since starting my writing journey. A writer’s life can be lonely, and connecting with other writers is vital for sanity and for learning. This weekend I organised for my class mates to provide me with name and email and sent out a group email to everyone, so we are now all connected.
These are just some of the learnings from the weekend. The teacher covered so much more and provided terrific handouts that will help me in rewriting my current WIP.
The weekend gave me confidence in my writing and in the next step. The learnings I took away are invaluable. Part of me wished I had done it earlier, but with my novel already done I could also relate to a lot more.
It was absolutely a ten out of ten course and weekend. I was tired and head spinning on Sunday evening, but my heart and soul was full of healthy smiles, and I now have a certificate to add to my collection of learnings.